An Edmonton man who launched a space-themed YouTube channel snagged a once-in-a-lifetime guest for his very first episode: billionaire entrepreneur and jet pilot Jared Isaacman, 37, the man set to finance and lead the first SpaceX all-civilian voyage this year.
Zachary Aubert, 25, started his YouTube channel The Launch Pad in early February.
He said he reached out to Isaacman on Twitter and through email but didn’t expect to actually hear back. Isaacman replied within a few hours.
“Definitely (felt the) shock of, OK, they actually said yes,” Aubert said.
“What do you ask, one, a multi-billionaire that’s been extremely successful in life, and two, the person that’s taking humanity on this next step forward to commercializing space travel but also making sure we’re taking care of our home.”
Isaacman joined Aubert for a half-hour chat from the SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, Cali.
“I love talking about inspiration and everything we hope to accomplish with this really awesome mission,” Isaacman told Aubert in the interview.
The SpaceX flight will see Isaacman pilot the first-ever fully commercial, non-government spaceship into orbit by the end of the year, using the company’s four-seat Crew Dragon capsule for the journey.
The mission has been dubbed “Inspiration4,” and aspiring travellers have until March 1 to win a seat onboard. The mission is fundraising for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.
A person who donates to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital will win a spot, and another “inspirational entrepreneur” will be selected through an independently judged competition. The entrepreneur must also use Isaacman’s credit card processing company, Shift4 Payments, to be eligible. The fourth seat will be a female health-care worker from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Only legal U.S. residents will be considered for the journey.
For Aubert, his new adventure is off to a promising start.
“It’s an exciting time to be alive,” Aubert said.
“In the ’60s when they went to the moon, humanity went with them, and we’re going back so it’s exciting to be part of it.”
He added his next “dream guest” would be SpaceX founder Elon Musk.
The journey that Isaacman is piloting is one of several tourism ventures that Musk has on the go at SpaceX. Three businessmen — including one Canadian — will pay $55 million each to visit the International Space Station via a Dragon capsule next January. Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa is scheduled to fly to the moon on board SpaceX’s BFR rocket in 2023.
–with files from Josh K. Elliot, Global News